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In a significant development, the Canadian province of British Columbia seeks to employ an unexplained wealth order (UWO) against Michael Patryn, co-founder of the Quadriga Coin Exchange (QuadrigaCX). 

The UWO is a newly introduced court order that compels individuals to disclose the source of their assets. The Minister of Public Safety and Attorney General of Canada, Mike Farnworth, said that the filing of the UWO demonstrates the government’s commitment to taking decisive action against criminals and organized crime.

Government’s Pursuit Of QuadrigaCX Extends The Quadriga Coin Exchange, founded in Canada by Gerald Cotten and Michael Patryn and the focus of British Columbia’s UWO, gained international notoriety for its criminal activities that caused substantial financial losses to numerous individuals. 

Farnworth highlights QuadrigaCX’s connection to a high-profile cryptocurrency fraud documentary on Netflix as illustrative of the nature of such crimes. The government emphasizes that “robust” enforcement measures that undermine criminal organizations’ profit motives are essential to effectively combating these crimes.

In addition, the Attorney General notes that the case received further attention when it was featured in an episode of Law and Order Toronto entitled “The Key to the Castle: Criminal Intent” in February 2024. 

According to Farnworth’s statement, if successful, the motion would result in the forfeiture of various assets, including $250,200 in cash, 45 gold bars, four luxury watches, and valuable jewelry. The Attorney General’s statement concluded:

We will continue to take the assets from unlawful activity and redirect the proceeds of crime to much-needed victim services programs and crime prevention initiatives, such as the anti-hate grants to communities announced on Feb. 15, 2024.

Allegations Of Personal Gain From Customer Assets While a 2020 report from the Ontario Securities Commission did not result in charges, it concluded that only Gerald Cotten had engaged in fraudulent activities. The report stated that Patryn had ceased associating with QuadrigaCX in 2016, and most client funds were deposited after his departure.

However, in the civil forfeiture case filed in British Columbia’s court last year, the province alleged that an investigation revealed Patryn and Cotten had misappropriated customer assets for personal use and financial gain. The province’s claim mentions Patryn’s involvement in purchasing and maintaining a safety deposit box and its contents.

Lovie Horner, Patryn’s common-law spouse, was identified as one of the individuals who deposited money into the bank account between 2014 and 2020, according to the forfeiture case.

In 2005, Michael Patryn, then known as Omar Dhanani, was convicted in the United States for his involvement in a conspiracy to transfer identification documents related to an online money-laundering service.

Meanwhile, in December 2018, Gerald Cotten, the co-founder of QuadrigaCX, embarked on a trip to India with his newlywed wife, Jennifer Robertson. During the trip, Cotten, who suffers from Crohn’s disease, became seriously ill. 

Despite medical attention, his health deteriorated, leading to his untimely death shortly after his hospitalization. About a month later, QuadrigaCX officially announced Cotten’s death in a statement attributed to Jennifer Robertson.

The daily chart shows the total crypto market cap’s valuation at $2.59 trillion. Source: TOTAL on Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from

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May 2024


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